Aside from the idiotic name (who would want to buy a scent that promised to smell of nothing at all???), this has a lot going for it and a major strike against it.
From a distance, it is a beautiful sweet leather, strong and pungent. Turin gives it four stars, calls it an "animalic leather," and notes that is "no other unsweetened leather out there."
In addition to the notes mentioned above, "Incense, Rose, Leather, Iris, Cistus, Oakmoss, Black Pepper, Aldehydes, Cumin, Patchouli," I detect a good deal of cedar and Oud. It is the Oud that gives it too harsh and sharp an undertone to be ultimately a pleasant experience for me.
Had Etat left the harshness out of the formula, this would be a go-to leather scent for me. As is, I will stick with my Knize Ten, Chanel's Cuir de Russie, and SL's Iris Silver Mist as my favorite leathers.
Aldehydes and leather with incense is how it starts. Big and bold, the leather is a little animalic, at the edge of being offensive. Developing into the heart, something sweet emerges, I suppose it's the styrax. Further, the fragrance becomes a creamy leather accompanied by the flowers and goes like this for a very long time.
It is not for everyone, that's for sure, but I like it. Not usually a fan of animalic perfumes, and this one kind of walks that line; but it is more than that, the carnal leather mixed with the flowers are addictive, making you lust for it. It might seem daring and repulsive, but you can't take your mind out of it. If you don't like it at first, give it a chance, it might surprise you.
Phenomenal sillsge and projection. I get animalic, incense, patchouli and oakmoss and it stays on your skin forever. Well I could still sense the smell after a shower. It the kind of scent 2 sprays would go all day long and many compliments. Quality, powerful stuff.
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The listed notes tell me that I should adore Rien, but the sparks never really fly. Rien starts out with a burst of aldehydes and dry powder, soon followed by a gentle incense note and a very light rose. Because it's utterly devoid of sweetness, the rose/incense accord feels weightless and ethereal, even when leather and oakmoss rise up beneath it. The moss and leather are seasoned with black peppercorn in a medicinal combination that brings to mind a very soft oudh.
Rien persists in this vein for quite some time, becoming drier and more woody with age. Though none is listed, I smell something suggestive of cedar in the base, and that note brings the drydown surprisingly close to the late stages of Diptyque's cedar-lined Tam Dao (!?). On the whole, I'd describe Rien as a very dry, gray "scratchy" fragrance, and believe that earlier reviewers have been spot on calling it stony or mineralic. In the end I think it's interesting, but not necessarily compelling.
Outstanding. I am surprised how much I like this - crave it even. It is a complex smell. The first blast is chewy, reminding me of biting into something inedible, but I can't pinpoint what. It is slightly musty, like fruit about to turn, maybe the bloom on a mulberry, although I stress that the smell itself is not fruity at all. It quickly blooms into an almost blowsy, embarrassing urinal cake accord, which oddly enough is quite attractive (yes, I realize that this is weird, but truly, this part is not repulsive). I suppose this would be the civet? The opening feels like it is classically-made, belonging to the eighties, maybe.
Then, I get rubber, heat, leather, engine oil. But a well-oiled flow of it, not a jagged sequence of events. It dries down to a comfortable leather accord, more rounded and fuller than Cabochard, but vaguely reminiscent of it. It is not as butch as the description would lead you to believe. It is very sexy in a "I don't care what you think of me, bitch" way. Oh, and it is not as strong on me as on other reviewers - on me, it softens to a skin scent, and melds with my own chemistry/body odors.
You're alone in the desert, wearing an expensive leather jacket and burning incense in a campfire. At times, from a long-forgotten oil well somewhere in the middle of the desert, you get a slight fascinating whiff of crude petroleum.
This is Rien. An absolute masterpiece of modern perfumery, cleverly blended and always surprising everytime you wear it.
OUTSTANDING LONGEVITY (once I sprayed my wrist and after over 24 hours I could still smell it) and incredible sillage: the only "problem" with Rien is that everyone won't be able to help smelling you.
Solid and thick in sillage and duration..retro style as I like...leather and hints of smokiness and incense..really great!
very distinct and charesmatic, just not for me. smells of leather and oakmoss is very overwhelming. a definate powerhouse with great longevity but not modern.the aldehydes and patchouli remain as dark as can be.i just sold my decant on ebay after testing once again. not a very likable scent for the under 40 crowd. maybe a good scent to wear to a funeral or something dark and gloomy.
As soon as ELDO products arrived to a luxury retailer for the first time in Budapest last week, I went down to sample this perfume, I couldn't wait!
Now, am I the only one who thinks this is nothing out of the ordinary? Having read all the brilliantly outraged reviews here, I was expecting a decent amount of skank. I've been wearing the decant since yesterday, and all I get instead is a very dusty, muted leather warmed up by frankincense and spices. I admit, the leather is a bit chemical/tarry along Bvlgari Black's lines, and the whole thing is as beautiful as only a niche perfume can be, but this is certainly nothing groundbreaking...
Upon first application (spray), there's a striking similarity to Bandit (huge amount of old leather and oakmoss), and a few minutes later it turns into none other than the venerable Kouros itself with the leather and incense notes turned up a bit, and the animalic skank (civet) more muted. After about 30 minutes, it's not even that - the whole thing warms up to become a generic leather/frankincense niche thing (along the lines of, let's say, MDO Les Nombres d'Or Cuir), that lasts for quite a time, and projects a little less. In the end, it ends up jawdroppingly similar to Dzing!, without the vanilla and with something camphoraceous in the background (maybe another link to Black's leather notes).
The hype's okay, but if you are looking for a really animalic / chemical / dark leather composition, look elsewhere: Montale's Aoud Cuir d'Arabie eats this thing for breakfast. After an hour, this is less challenging to wear than even Kouros or Salvador Dalí PH. If you want piss, dribble and unwashed parts, Miel de Bois cuts it better.
This is a brilliant perfume with a commencement as long and complex as, say, War and Peace (going from Bandit to Dzing! is no easy feat), but it isn't any more difficult and skanky than Dzing! or Kouros. If those perfumes send you screaming, stay away - otherwise, try it by all means!
Rien is certainly one of the most challenging fragrances that I own, being extremely strong and extremely polarizing, yet it's so delicious and uniquely distinctive that I can't stop myself from wearing it, being fond, as I am, of "force of nature" fragrances.
The opening is all black pepper and a dense, suffocating blast of aldehydic mayhem which lasts for a hour on me before it even starts to soften. It's after this that the leather begins to peek-out in earnest, and all the while an incense reminiscent of Nag Champa pushes-forth from the base.
This is not a fragrance for the meek or feint-of-heart. Overdosage (three sprays pushes the limit) is extraordinarily unpleasant, and this juice should be applied with extreme caution. One spritz is enough for the office; it will genuinely last all day; two if I'm heading somewhere ritzy. I would never, ever invite Rien out for dinner or to travel with me on an airplane, yet despite my reservations about it's potential for antisocial behaviour, I cannot imagine life without it.
03rd March, 2013 (last edited: 15th February, 2015)
The opening is dry, but really strange. Hint of pepper but mainly a piercing, industrial note like glue, solvent or hot light bulbs. A woody-spice note in an quirky mutant, sci-fi vein. Hot plastic, volatile glue... really not my scene.
This is how I like my fragrances - strong, bold, way out of the box! With my usual hard finger on the trigger I made the mistake of over-applying this one...GREAT, but even I, who wear 12 sprays of A*men had to realise - less is more! This isn't "Nothing", it should be re-named to "Too Much" lol!
I am useless at analysing the notes, but I do get the aldehydes, ink and leather mentioned.
Strange, mysterious, evocative ... Imagine riding a motorcycle to organic chem lab (running late) wearing a black leather jacket usually kept in a cedar chest? Wear it to New York City.
26th November, 2012 (last edited: 22nd September, 2015)
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Excellent! At heart a leather scent, but there are many other things going on. There are florals and a little bit of spices and rubbery feeling to it, but everything is so well blended that distinct notes do not pop up. It is a dry scent which smells masculine to me, but women may find the urge to chase after you.
This has a dark, bitter, astringent & almost harsh opening of dry leather & ash, & it certainly does strike me as a "don't mess with me" fragrance! After a few moments, hints of pepper & civet begin to peep through, & it steadily becomes more skanky & smoky. l get an impression of the aftermath of a wild fetish party in a smoky basement club. Twenty minutes in, the edges soften, & l get powder, incense & a wonderfully animalic leather beneath. The projection is good, & it hums along nicely for a good six-seven hours before fading.
The opening is indeed a rough ride, but l love the drydown of this one. Like the lovechild of Habanita & Bal a Versailles, it combines the smoky incense & the animalic powder that l adore from each. Fantastic! lt may take a couple more wearing before l decide that this is for me, but there may well be a bottle, or at least a decant, of this in my future.
Well, to begin with, this fragrance called Rien ( which of course means "nothing" in french) is as far from nothing as it's possible to get. Firstly, because it should be used sparingly to avoid the wrath of the fragrance sensitive. Secondly, because next to Mitsouko and Chanel's Cuir de Russie, this is one of the most beautiful scents I have ever worn. At the moment I have only a sample bottle, but I forsee a full-sized bottle in my future!
...extreme, intense, addictive, absolutely gorgeous!
An absolutely glorious monster of a fragrance: bold, austere, intimidating and bewitching.
01st September, 2012 (last edited: 12th September, 2012)
Medicine cabinet in musty mansion, naphthalene balls roll across the floor, in the distance someone cranks up Sisters of Mercy, a door creaks open… welcome, oh terrible dark lord.
Alternatively, the banks of an Indian river, the smoke of pyres, ash-smeared sadhus with matted hair light their chillums…
My oh my, this is some head trip. Dry, bitter, smoky, the storax there right from the start, an impression of some fruit on the turn at the opening, but then a glove of antique leather slips over the entire thing. It has the duality of potent drugs – will it cure or will it harm?
If my somewhat headlong descriptions make it sound otherwise, apologies, for this is a model of balance. Where other incense/resin/leather frags try too hard to prove some butch point, this one just is. Not everyone's taste for sure, but to me it felt like a second skin and somehow thoroughly now.
It moves somewhere between the elegant and understated seduction of Antaeus and the incensed skanky side of Yatagan.
after a full wearing with it, I was completely amazed by its warm , cozy and slightly sweet floral dry-down. I was so mesmerized by its skanky aura of incense.
It was an excellent and eternal dry down!
It's a real scrubber for me, I'm afraid. A nasty mix of cracked Styrax and Birch Tar. If you want to smell like a cold, unraked fireplace this one is for you. Unfortunately it is very strong and very long lasting.
One spray on my wrist was far too much. In fact, it gave me a headache. To me it seemed like a much less refined Knize Ten (which I must say is brilliant). Twice the volume, but no control or balance. Smelling this on my wrist gave a similar feeling to glancing at an incredibly bright light, after just waking up with tired and sensitve eyes.
Thanks to my learned friend Alfarom i've tested this wonderful incensey and rosey leather scent in the vein of Pure Aoud by Kilian (they share notes as cistus labdanum, balsams-may be rose, berries and aoud not listed in killian- animalic notes and others). Very, very vintage in its link of aldehydes, rose-iris and patchouli. The sensation is like inhaling the odour of an old wardrobe with furs inside. Leaning over the womanly side in my opinion. The animalism of the scent is sheer (civet? May be just the cistus labdanum) as well as its sinister appeal in reminiscence of the old Paris in its old buildings' interiors. The first introdution of the smell is under clothes of floral and smoky leather, vanilla, corrupted fruits and medicinal aoud. The not listed aoud is minimal but present, in my opinion, although is possible that the medicinal trait is produced by aldehydes in the first moment of the evolution. Anyway the first sensation is a bit laundry and detergent and this old-bathroom vibe is boasted by the presence of iris in the blend, before a smoky creaminess takes off. I detect the presence of blackcurrant that imprints that sort of mellow fruits smell that pushes up the leathery and vintage vibe. As well as Foetidus underlined i don't get a notable note of incense, while the smoke is prominent over the floral leather. Possibly the real protagonist of the leathery-smoky feel is the complex element of the ambery cistus labdanum, a very articulated, ambery and smoky animalic kind of smell. May be the incense, in connection with aldehydes, black pepper and cumin, produces a touch of gas that recedes with time. The cumin is notable here as well is notable in a fragrance this one reminds a bit to, i mean the ghosty Serge Noir Lutens. Obviously in the general vintage and dark atmosphere could not be assent another protagonist, a patchouli that is floral and leathery and endly woodsy because of the presence of a rounding oakmoss. Another wonderful dark and vintage concoction.
24th November, 2011 (last edited: 29th November, 2011)
I don’t get the blackcurrant bud in the opening, but I do get leather and aldehydes. I’m surprised at the leather because it is a rather strong version, and yet I barely dislike it… I hate most leather notes. There’s a definite smoky / incense aspect to this leather – the pyramid says “frankincense” but it smells more smoky to my nose, possibly because the leather is so strong. There’s also some spice that I can smell but not identify. Powder? Not really… nor do I get much vanilla in the base. The leather dominates from beginning to end to such an extent, that I do not consider myself as a good judge of what’s really happening in the fragrance: It’s an interesting fragrance and my main reaction to it is that I don’t exactly like it, but I’m surprised that I can tolerate it. Rien has very little movement or complexity for me. It’s a long lasting fragrance with better than average sillage
I will vote a neutral for Rien, but I’m tempted to vote a thumbs up simply because it’s a strong leather scent that doesn’t revolt me… they must have done a lot right in this one.
Believe it or not, Rien is like Knize Ten cranked up tenfold. It's a very powerful deep and dark animalic leather with no softening edges. I couldn't wear Rien comfortably, but some love it. It tends to polarise, so I am going to give it a neutral - ha ha.
Stop Press:I have tested the new Pentachords range from Andy Tauer and would like to put on record that 'Auburn' is quite simply the best oriental I have ever experienced -- it's basically cinnamon, lemon, sandalwood and incense, but it's so much more than the sum of it's parts. Truly wonderful and needs to be tested. Wasn't as knocked out by the other two in the range, but that maybe because I tried them after 'Auburn'.
I have done 180's on 2 fragrances, namely Orange Star by Tauer and Guerlain's Double Vaniille -- I love them both now. That will teach me not to write kneejerk reviews.
There is a new 'Oud' synthetic available now to perfumers and fragrances with this note are (boringly) everywhere now. Surprisingly, the best I have come across is by Jo Malone and called 'Bergamot and Oud'. It's a really refined and lovely scent -- not like a lot of these 'ouds' that leave you cross-eyed and close to collapse.
Rien starts off with a splurge of aldehydes laced with leather. Some incense/florals begin to make there way in, though not too heavy. The leather is animalistic and on drydown it becomes very woody. Almost cedar-like. I would think just looking at the notes that I’d love this fragrance, but I’ve worn it several times and it just doesn’t do it for me.
Rien is a leather, yes, but what constitutes a leather note in perfumery is often vague. ‘Floral’ and ‘woody’ are broad categories as well. Yet we make distinctions in florals (by species: jasmine, tuberose, lily; descriptively: bright, orchestral, indolic) and woods (by tree: sandlewood, cedar, birch; qualitatively: grassy, earthy, milky.) Even a genre as vague as ‘green’ lets us specify by ingredient (galbanum, neroli, vetiver) and by attribute (fruity, resinous, bitter.) For leathers, we might point to the ingredients of rectified birch tar or isoquinolones, but in general we’re usually just loosely descriptive, often to the point of obscurity. Smokey, tarry, rubbery, ‘like the inside of a purse,’ suede-like. Suede-like? We might as well say carpet-like. Evocative, yes, but this terminology doesn’t give us a lot of analytical range.
What are the actual differences in the leather characteristics of Knize Ten, Cuir de Russie, Carillon pour un Ange, Azurée, Habit Rouge? I have no answers, but am curious.
But Rien is a bit different. It uses a combination of ingredients that each gives a slightly different angle on the qualities of dryness, dustiness, inkiness, metal, bitterness. It suggests the scent of a thick leather motorcycle jacket. Incense, cistus, cumin, styrax, aldehydes. Find the wrong angle on any of these components and Rien could have been a muddle if not a mess. As it turns out, though, (and here I fall prey to dim descriptions of the leather genre) Rien is a gorgeous, sharp, harsh leather. Distinctive, striking, beautiful? Utterly. Pretty, cozy, something Sephora has trained its customers to like? Not by a long shot.
Etat Libre d’Orange doesn’t target the mainstream perfume buyer, and thus avoids the sort of fragrance that a good few might like and an even larger number won’t actually mind. For the complaints, valid or not, leveled against niche perfumery (pretension, dilettante exclusivity, smugness) Rien is a beautiful example of the effectiveness of a well-curated line and risk-taking. In addition, it is no more expensive than many designer releases.
Rien is a terrific perfume, and perhaps more importantly, an example of a creative, successful strategy by a niche house.
Rien opens with the bitterest leather note I have ever smelled (not unlike the insect repellent leather in the opening of Knize Ten) and vanilla cast in a startling green, medicinal striplight. I adore the union of these unfamiliar aspects of old familiar materials, even though it is initially shocking to my nose. There's enough black pepper here to make me sneeze too. Gorgeous, and as sniffable as a weird old leather jacket filled with the scent of mothballs and its owner's perfume.
After a few minutes a dark, dry incense seeps into the background. Pot-pourri rose plays on top, and the civet adds its animalic notes to the score (I find this civet quite well-behaved, not at all repulsive, and certainly less outrageous than the loud, unsettling notes in the opening).
I find the drydown disappointingly boring by comparison to the start: woody floral (the floral notes are gorgeous - iris and jasmine in sheer pink chiffon) with incense and pepper staying strong and a creamier vanilla coming in late and sitting in the back. Nice, but nothing remarkable.
Worth wearing for the wonderful, bitter beginning. And if you enjoy burying your nose in other people's leather jackets. I see this being my "don't mess with me" fragrance - you wouldn't want to get on its ugly side :)
Civet is one of the most wayward components of a so called "leather accord". Unlike castoreum that is sweet and milder, civet is completely urinous, overpowering, almost impossible to be used undiluted. In Rien I can see the civet behave within a general floral incense background and eventually contribute its treasured animalic properties to the whole composition. A lady's vintage leather jacket still wrapped in its torn nylon bag hanging in the basement's closet, full of dust and the smell of naphthalene all around. To my nose this is nothing but a twisted approach to the Knize ten or even Gomma theme, a nice leather scent minus the powder and the sweetness of those two. Not "easy" to understand it, but I like it.
I think a better name for "Rien" could have been "Tout" as this scent is loud, rich and very straight forward. The opening is harshing and crude with a consistent dose of aldehyde, leather (civet) and a completely desweetened rose. Almost disturbing but I like it. After a few minutes everything is joined by frankincense and the scent stays in the same mood for hours turning in the end into an extremely dry woody/leathery base. For a few aspects Rien reminded me of Knize Ten or even Bandit but it's way more uncomfortable. It's like they have tried to layer the two perfumes I mentioned with a cacophonic result. Don't get me wrong, Rien smells good but kind of unbalanced. Amazing sillage and good lasting power. Not bad but could have been a lot better.
After several more wearings I'm addicted. Now Rien doesn't smell so rich as I used to perceived it in the past, I get it as a straight forward, uncompromising, kind of unsettling and positively crude dry leather. It's like a stilyzed dadaist portrait of Bandit after a steady diet of dryness.
30th March, 2011 (last edited: 04th March, 2012)